Rolls-Royce Sued by Qantas Worker Over Engine Explosion

A Qantas Airways Ltd. attendant sued Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, claiming it was responsible for psychological damage suffered by passengers when an engine exploded on a flight in 2010.

The suit was filed for Sandy Lam by LHD Lawyers in New South Wales Supreme Court in Sydney on Feb. 6. It seeks unspecified damages for non-economic and economic losses on behalf of all people on board the aircraft who suffered psychological injury because of the engine failure, according to the statement of claim.

Part of the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine casing blew off shortly after the A380 plane left Singapore on Nov. 4, 2010, sending shrapnel through a wing and fuselage, based on a preliminary report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. None of the 469 people on board was physically injured in the incident, which led Qantas to ground its entire fleet of the Airbus SAS superjumbo for more than three weeks.

Qantas won A$95 million ($88 million) in compensation from London-based Rolls-Royce for disruptions caused by the incident. The associated costs were equivalent to at least $242 million.

Rolls-Royce hasn’t filed a statement of defense, the New South Wales Supreme Court office said in an e-mail today.

David Mair, a managing director at Republic Consulting Pty. in Sydney, which represented the engine-maker, declined to comment today. Rolls-Royce has taken “appropriate remedial action to make sure that such events cannot happen again,” Mair previously said after the regulator’s report.

The engine explosion was caused by an oil leak and subsequent fire, according to the safety regulator’s report. Rolls-Royce has revised procedures including ones for assessing new parts, it said.

Lam, 31, worked in the premium economy class cabin of the aircraft when the blast occurred, according to the statement of claim. The plaintiff and other group members suffered psychological injury as a result of the defendant’s negligence, according to the filing, which doesn’t specify the injuries.

The case is Sandy Lam v. Rolls Royce Plc. 2013/37342. Supreme Court of New South Wales (Sydney).